Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is defending his choices for his new cabinet. The men, and surprisingly women, chosen by Mr. Ahmadinejad appear to be chosen for their loyalty, and not necessarily for their skills. However, conservative hardliners, who normally back the president, have come out against his female picks. This would be the first time in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic that the government included women. 

Mr. Ahmadinejad is publicly defending his choices at the start of a three-day vetting process by parliament. Under the president’s proposed list, women would head the ministries of health, education, and social welfare. Opposition to Ahmadinejad’s picks is not only coming from his conservative allies who dominate the parliamentary assembly, but also moderates who say his government is illegitimate. 

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